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Lighting-Quality Requirements Proposed for Green-Building Standard

An addendum adding lighting-quality requirements is one of nine proposed changes to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, open for public review until Oct. 14.

“It has been clearly established that good lighting has a positive effect on the occupants of a building,” Richard Heinisch, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. “Or, looking at it from the opposite direction, when occupants are dissatisfied with their lighting, this can increase absenteeism and employee turnover, which, in turn, decreases the sustainability of the enterprise. Any building—and particularly a high-performance building—should address issues of lighting quality so as to enhance the comfort and productivity of its occupants.”

Proposed Addendum m requires occupants of certain space types be given a level of control over light levels. According to the foreword of the proposal, a research study on the effects of lighting on office workers found: “Normally, the persistence and vigilance of office workers will decline over the course of a workday. However, the presence of personal control of their lighting increased subject motivation allowing workers to sustain their performance—they persisted longer on difficult tasks and were more accurate on a task requiring sustained attention.”

Addendum m also requires separate lighting and lighting control for certain media, such as whiteboards.

The other addenda open for public review are:

• Addendum h, which clarifies the requirements for a continuous air barrier in Section 7 (Energy Efficiency), as well as the requirements for airtightness commissioning in Section 10 (Construction Plans for Operation).

• Addendum i, which modifies the climate zones to which the heat-island section (Roofs) applies.

• Addendum j, which clarifies shading provided by vegetation for site hardscape and walls for heat-island mitigation (Heat Island and Walls).

• Addendum k, which updates Section (Variable-Speed Fan Control for Commercial Kitchen Hoods) to reference the language in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

• Addendum l, which adds a table to include the minimum transformer efficiencies for building designs following Path B of Section (Minimum Equipment Efficiencies).

• Addendum o, which adds a new mandatory provision to Section 9 (The Building’s Impact on the Atmosphere, Materials, and Resources), establishing maximum mercury-content levels for certain types of electric lamps.

• Addendum q, which clarifies that system commissioning must include commissioning of associated control systems.

• Addendum s, which clarifies the requirements for outdoor airflow monitoring in Section 8 (Indoor Environmental Quality), along with operational requirements for such monitoring in Section 10 (Construction and Plans for Operation).

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